Greetings dear readers! While thinking ahead into the new year and what my hopes and desires for quilting might be, I realized that this March marks the 30th anniversary of my decision to make my first quilt. 30 years!! It’s been a wonderful journey with a profound impact on my life, for which I am incredibly grateful. I keep up with the quilting world, closely, in many ways – blogs, Instagram, magazines, books, videos, a subscription to “The Quilt Show,” etc. The many changes in quilting over those 30 years have been striking, especially technological advances in tools and communication and in design aesthetics. We seem to be in a “Modern” quilt making movement – whatever that means, exactly!! – at the moment, with “traditional” quilt making hanging in there, but perhaps struggling just a bit to stay in the limelight, and plenty of art quilters out there doing amazing work. What has connected us all and continues to connects us is a love of textiles and stitching.
I’ve thought quite a bit about where I fit in all of this. I consider myself to be a “traditional quilt artist” because my style is traditional and I love to use traditional quilt blocks and designs, but I love to play with those blocks, play with colors, play with fabrics, and combine all those elements in ways to create my own design variations, rather than use commercial patterns most of the time. I feel that I am able to express myself artistically through “traditional” quilt making.
I question sometimes, though, whether I’m in a rut and should explore making art or modern quilts, but even though I admire many of them, my heart and mind generally aren’t inspired in that direction. I think it’s as simple as that – I need to keep going where I’m inspired to go!! So, that’s my overarching goal for the year – to be open to inspiration and to try to make sure I find the time and space to act on that inspiration. It also makes sense to continue with last year’s goals: explore, play, progress, and finish! Rather than give a laundry list of specific projects that need progress and finishes this year in this blog, I’ll cover those things gradually throughout the year.
Another goal is to spend plenty of time with the quilting community – my guild, my bee, shows, workshops, retreats, etc. I also want to try to make more donation quilts. Many of you know there will be no more “Monthly Minis.” When Wendy (The Constant Quilter) announced the end of her hosting it after 5 years, I’d already decided I was taking a break from it to focus on getting other projects done. Many thanks to Wendy for hosting so long!! I think I will always make small quilts, but now, instead of monthly, it will be just when I’m inspired!🙂
Of course, one of my clear goals for 2023 is to finish “Sweet Journeys.” I try to get some hand quilting done every day. I completed another block:
I am intermittently adding stitching to the center medallion:
I also intermittently add rows of stitching to the border, but won’t bore you with another photo of that yet. The point is, it all starts to add up to significant progress!
The INSPIRATION I received from the Tomie Nagano exhibit is driving me right along to make more log cabin blocks. Since I last posted, I’ve gone from 4 blocks done to 20!!
Closeups of the newer blocks:
Making these blocks has been a challenge in the importance of “value” in creating the design. There are definitely some “in between” fabrics whose placement has to be carefully considered. Luckily, this design is pretty forgiving for some of the outliers.
Some of the “taupe” fabrics have the vibe of “reproduction” fabrics; some pieces from my other stash of Asian fabrics fit; some subtle solids work. I’m able use some pieces from other parts of my stash so it’s been fun combing through them adding to the variety I can include.
Here’s what my design wall looks like right now:
I’m currently liking the “Sunshine and Shadows” setting for the LC blocks, but no idea whether that’s how they’ll wind up. I just saw this quote in my reading, “Wisdom sees that light and dark are inseparable and that shadows are also light.” If I stick with this variation, “Inseparable” might be a name for it!
I’ve got 14 new baskets in the works, currently appliquéing handles before sewing the pieces together.
I’m sharing 2 more quilts today from the Nagano exhibit:
Beautiful fabrics, beautiful stitching! And the fact that these are all pieces of clothing that someone wore adds real meaning to the piece.
I have to include some recent Earthly Delights!
I just finished 2 very enjoyable books and I recommend both.
“West With Giraffes” was my book group selection because we wanted something light to read over the holidays and it fit the bill perfectly. We all enjoyed the story of 2 giraffes from Africa being transported across the country in 1938 from NYC to the San Diego Zoo – lots of adventure along the way, based on a true story. “Lessons in Chemistry” was fabulous and, though the issues it deals with are serious, much of it was laugh-out-loud funny. Don’t miss it!
Hope your 2023 is going well!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi